Access to Finance
COSME - Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF)
The Commission recently launched the COSME Loan facility for SMEs managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) that offers guarantees and counter-guarantees, including securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios, to selected financial intermediaries (e.g. guarantee institutions, banks, leasing companies, etc.- the selection is still undergoing in certain Member States) to help them to provide more loans and leases to SMEs who might be having difficulties in accessing the traditional banking system.
InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility
The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, also managed by EIF is another facility under the Commission’s Horizon 2020 (the research programme). It is is available for Research-based and innovative SMEs and Small Mid-caps.
Creative and Fashion Industries
DG GROWTH - Commissioner Bienkowska's Mandate
Forum of the Fashion and High-End Industries
Commissioner Biénkowska received the CEOs of Fashion and High-End Industries on the 16th June in Brussels on the occasion of the first Forum of the Fashion and High-End Industries. The Forum has been established as a result of the Action Plan jointly elaborated by the Commission and respective industries in 2013, and intends to serve for monitoring the achievements done at national and EU level in benefit of the industries, and establish future priorities for action.
Find here the revised and updated version of the Action Plan for Fashion and High-End Industries that served as basis during the debate between CEOs of these industries and Commissioner Biénkowska. In addition find here the list of participants with a brief description of their interventions.
The two-hours meeting was conducted very lively, with concrete and short interventions from the industry representatives, including from CEC’s president. The Commissioner showed a clear interest in our sectors, and made questions with a pragmatic approach. Biénkowska also approached the representative of a leading Ceramic company from Hungary and asked “so, what do you think about the proposal for a mandatory origin labelling in consumer products? Because your government is one of the leading opponents.” And the CEO replied “of course we are very much in favour”, and the Commissioner suggested him to try approaching his Government, because it was ridiculous that Member States were so determinant in their positions, and were not able to reach a compromise. Other participants added their support to the OM labelling, and one of them added that all the Forum was in favour.
On the 17th April 2015 the CEC participated in the first Fashion Working Group meeting in DG GROWTH (previously called DG Enterprise and Industry) under the new Commissioner Bienkowska's mandate.
The meeting was organized with the following purposes:
Assess the outcomes of the 2013 Fashion Action Plan;
Identify the current need of our fashion industries.
DG ENTR - Vice-President Tajani's Mandate
Vice-President Tajani took the portfolio of “Enterprise and Industry” in the European Commission in 2010, and since then he has demonstrated a strong commitment and support of the creative and fashion industries.
Among his initiatives can be mentioned the annual lunch-debate with CEOs of companies from the fashion industry in which are discussed specific actions for promoting the growth and competitiveness of the industries, and in which CEC’s former President, Vito Artioli, took part as CEO of his company.
The identification of the key measures to tackle in order to strength the competitiveness of these industries are discussed in a Fashion and Creative Industries Working Group composed by representatives of the relevant European Associations of these industries and the respective Unit in DG Enterprise and Industry that meets regularly since 2011.
The main needs and priorities to tackle that were identified were:
- Access to finance;
- Internationalization of SMEs;
- Intellectual Property rights;
- Visibility of the sector and more modern and dynamic image;
- Skills and competences, how to attract young people to the sector;
- Job’s creation.
The open dialogue in these meetings and the continue exchange of information brought to the publication of two working documents and a Communication on fashion and high-ends industries in the last term of 2012:
- Working document “Where manufacturing meets creativity”
- Working document “Competitiveness of the European High-ends industries”
- Communication of the EC on the cultural and creative sectors
Summary of the three documents
In October 2012, DG Enterprise & Industry adopted as well an Industrial Policy flagship initiative, the Communication “A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery” - summary - identifying four pillars in which European Industry should concentrate on:
- Investments in innovation;
- Better market conditions, both in the internal and international market;
- Access to finance and capitals;
- Human capital and skills.
Furthermore in January 2013 the DG Enterprise & Industry published the Communication “ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2020 ACTION PLAN. Reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe” that identifies actions to unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, remove existing obstacles and revolutionize the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe.
The London Conference
The idea of the London Conference came out in February 2013 from the lunch debate between Vice President Tajani and the CEOs of relevant EU companies. The aim was to open a debate on the competitiveness of fashion and high-end industries to a larger group of stakeholders in those European cities more committed to the fashion industries.
A) The process towards the London Conference
In order to prepare the London Conference two different approaches were taking place in parallel, organised by the national entities where the events take place.
1. Organization of media events in order to provide visibility to these industries:
In order to sensitise the media, visibility was given through events in three different European cities. This initiative was led by ECCIA the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance which represents the luxury goods and includes five members (Comité Colbert, Circulo Fortuny, Fondazione Altagamma, Meisterkreis, Walpole). Events took place in:
- Madrid, 13th - 14th May 2013: two events (dinner and lunch) organized by Circulo Fortuny and Asociación de Creadores de Moda de España with the participation of the Vice-President Tajani. In the event only high-end industries were invited and no representatives of the fashion industries had the possibility to attend it.
CEC, in close collaboration with FICE, submitted a complaint to the European Commission, who asked for explanations to the Spanish organizers in order to avoid the repetition of the same misunderstanding in the other cities. The result has been the presentation of excuses by Circulo Fortuny and the request of a meeting with CEC representative for identifying future collaboration actions. The meeting is scheduled for July in Madrid;
- Milan, 27th June 2013, the event was a dinner organized by Fondazione Altagamma and Sistema Moda Italia;
- Paris, 6th November 2013, organized by Comité Colbert, Union des Industries textiles (UIT), Union Française des Industries de l'Habillement (UFIH).
2. Organization of workshops in order to identify future lines of action
The content of the London Conference was prepared in three European cities through the organization of workshops. Each workshop will deal with different subjects, and will include associations and experts coming from the world of fashion and high end industries come up. The outcome and concrete actions to take of such discussions will be presented at a final Conference in London in December 2013.
Workshops were organized in:
- Paris, 28 October 2013, by UIT, UFIH, FFC, Comité Colbert, Institut Français de la Mode on the subjects of intellectual property, Internet governance, SMEs' and sustainable growth;
B)The London Conference
The events organised under this Conference on the 3rd December in London, presented the document “ACTION PLAN FOR FASHION AND HIGH-END INDUSTRIES” together the ideas discussed during the different preparatory a Roadmap of Initiatives that include a political vision and policy actions for the coming years.
Fashion Working Group Meetings’ Reports:
- 2013 11 13 Meeting with EC - London Conference
- 2013 01 22 Meeting Fashion WG
- 2012 10 02 Meeting with EC – Unit Fashion
Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package
The European Commission wants to improve consumer product safety and to strengthen market surveillance of products in the EU, in order to do so a new package of legislative and non-legislative measures has been presented by the EC on the 13th February 2013.
The package is being discussed in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU and it includes:
- Proposal for a Regulation on Consumer Product Safety - summary elaborated by the CEC
- Multi-Annual Action Plan for the Surveillance of Products in the EU - summary elaborated by the CEC
- Report from the Commission on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 - Annex I - Annex II
The Proposal for a Regulation on Consumer Product Safety also includes the Indication of Origin (Art.7):
Manufacturers and importers shall ensure that products bear an indication of the country of origin of the product or, where the size or nature of the product does not allow it, that indication is to be provided on the packaging or in a document accompanying the product. In case the country of origin determined is a Member State of the Union, manufacturers and importers may refer to the Union or to a particular Member State.
When the country of origin is an EU Member State, manufacturers and importers may refer to the Union or to a particular Member State.